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Signature Events in Walla Walla

Walla Walla is vibrant and bustling any time of year, with plenty to do both inside and out. For an even more memorable taste of Walla Walla’s community spirit and hospitality, plan your visit around one of our popular signature events.

January – Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival

The sweet sounds of the Chamber Music Festival ring through the valley in January during the Winter Festival Series (January 12-15, 2023). The Festival offers experiences for whatever suits your fancy  The Winter Festival Series offers a long weekend filled with music to warm you up during the chilly winter, while the Summer Festival offers several weeks of live music to revel in. Portrait of an Artist events showcase one individual performer, Special Events are a bit more freestyle, and Tasting Music events are held in winery tasting rooms throughout the valley and err on the side of grand. The Festival Series, hosted at the Gesa Power House Theatre, brings together the individual artists and composers who bring the festival to life. Visit in January for this memorable and magical live music experience, then book your next visit in June to experience the Summer Festival Series (June 1-24, 2023)!

February – Walla Walla Restaurant Month

Who’s hungry? Food enthusiasts should visit Walla Walla in February to fill up during Walla Walla Restaurant Month. Walla Walla’s diverse and eclectic culinary scene shines year round, but every February our hospitality partners go big with special prix fixe menu offerings, take home meal kits, curated wine pairings and flights, and lodging deals. From early morning coffee spots to late night fine dining, there’s an offering for every appetite. New for 2023 is the Walla Walla Brew Fest being held on February 18. If a linchpin of your ideal vacation is a memorable meal, then Walla Walla Restaurant Month is your time!

March – Walla Walla Guitar Festival

A large time for rock n’ roll fans looking to shake off the winter blues, Walla Walla Guitar Festival takes place over three days in March, and features not just local but regional and national acts. Whether you’re a Walla Walla local or a live music fan visiting for this energetic three-day festival, the venues are going to wow you, too. Local wineries downtown host several performances, offering intimate settings perfect for getting closer to the action. Then kick off your dancing shoes for the performances at the VFW Post 992 and Walla Walla Eagles Club. 

April – Spring Kickoff Weekend

April is a fantastic time to visit Walla Walla: the changing seasons bring the Blue Mountains alive in shades of vibrant green, mild temperatures set the stage for enjoyable outdoor recreation, and the area wineries are celebrating Walla Walla Wine Month. Plan your visit to coincide with Spring Kickoff Weekend, held annually the first weekend in April. Be among the first to secure new release wines, revel with winemakers, and take in the beautiful views and lovely temperatures between tastings.

Country road among the vineyards

May – Spring Release Weekend

Group of people on a wine tour drinking wine looking at grape vines

Spring Release Weekend is one of the most popular wine-tasting weekends in Walla Walla, and with very good reason. As the name implies, this weekend is one where virtually all wineries “release” new vintages so you can be among the first to sample and own the latest Walla Walla wines! The excitement of the new vintages spills over into the community with just about anything you might enjoy doing both inside and outside available to explore. Book early, as rooms for this weekend go quickly. For the best experience and selection, extend your stay to include some weekdays before and after Spring Release Weekend.

Also in May – Walla Walla Balloon Stampede

High flying fun is in store come October as hot air balloons fill the sky during Walla Walla Balloon Stampede. This free, family-friendly event puts nearly 30 hot air balloons in the skies of Walla Walla. From Kid’s Day, where children can enjoy free tethered rides at Howard Tietan Park, to Nite Glow which is an eye-popping spectacle you have to see to believe, and free fly days throughout, this is one of Walla Walla’s most popular, colorful, and photograph-worthy events.

June – Tour of Walla Walla

Cycling enthusiasts, mark your calendars for the Tour of Walla Walla three day Cycling Event in June. The Tour of Walla Walla consists of four stages: two Road Races and a Time Trial, which take place north of Waitsburg, and the Criterium, which takes place in downtown Walla Walla. Walla Walla destination lodging partners, local shops, wineries and breweries, bakeries and eateries open their doors to the cyclists and cycling community who travel from all around the nation to participate and spectate. Whichever camp you fall into (racer or spectator), this is a breathtaking event you’ll want to plan for!

July – Walla Walla Movie Crush

Movie buffs and indie film aficionados will want to come to Walla Walla in July for the Walla Walla Movie Crush short film festival, a luxury-class event jam-packed with crowd-pleasing entertainment. Held at the historic Gesa Power House Theatre, the Walla Walla Movie Crush program is broken into one-hour thematic blocks; each block may contain a blend of narratives, documentaries, animation, music videos, and more. The festivities are kicked off with a package about veterans’ issues, in honor of the organizers’ commitment to the Red Badge Project, and culminate in a Closing Night Ceremony where the event’s annual awards are announced. This is a must-watch!

Also in July – Celebrate Walla Walla Valley Wine

Immerse yourself in social and educational wine festivities with Walla Walla Valley wineries, guest winemakers from the world’s leading wine regions and esteemed speakers during this weekend-long event put on by Walla Walla Valley Wine. Attendees have the opportunity to participate in rare vintage tastings, get up close and personal during intimate winemaker dinners, and compare and share the differences of the Walla Walla Valley with other leading wine regions around the world during wine panel presentations. Every year focuses on a different varietal, so you’ll want to “revisit” us again and again.

September – Wheelin’ Walla Walla Weekend

The downtown Walla Walla streets are filled with classic cars during Wheelin’ Walla Walla Weekend. This is more than a classic car show – it’s a SE Washington tradition! Wheelin’ Walla Walla Weekend kicks off with the popular Friday Night Cruise from 6-7 pm. On Saturday, head to charming downtown Walla Walla for the Show n’ Shine all day from 9 am to 3 pm, followed by the Awards Ceremony where over 100 trophies will be handed out, including Best of Show, Participants Choice, and the Neal Larson Memorial Award.

November – Fall Release Weekend

During the first weekend of November each year (November 4-6, 2022), wineries showcase their newest releases – often wines that are exclusively available at the tasting room or winery – and host a myriad of events. Opportunities to meet with winemakers offer wine connoisseurs and casual imbibers alike insight into what made this vintage unique. And each Walla Walla Wine District (Downtown, Westside, Airport, Eastside, Southside, and The Rocks in Milton-Freewater) offer visitors a different ambiance and distinctive experience. No matter how you pour it, Fall Release proves to be an action-packed weekend throughout the community.

December – Winter Barrel Tasting Weekend

A visit to Walla Walla over Holiday Barrel Tasting Weekend (December 2-4, 2022) is more than an opportunity to taste wine out of the barrel and stock up on collectible wines to enjoy in the future. It’s also a way to launch into the holiday spirit and immerse yourself in all things merry and bright. From great holiday shopping to relaxing accommodations, educational wine experiences, and the magic of twinkle lights and a spirited community parade, Walla Walla’s Holiday Barrel Tasting Weekend has everything you need to make your holiday getaway dreams come true.

Any time of year, in nearly every month, there’s a great signature event to discover. Plan your visit around one or all of them!